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to barack obama may be replaced by another former presidential candidate, massachusetts senator john kerry, chairman of the senate foreign relations committee. another candidate? the president's national security adviser tom donilon, and perhaps a more controversial choice, u.n. ambassador susan rice. she was the the obama administration's representative who gave the initial ip correct intelligence explanation of the benghazi attacks. still, most insiders believe rice and kerry are the two front-runners. white house veterans say clinton's eventual replacement will be on solid ground. >> the secretary of state in the second administration has the advantage of a president who has their bearings about what they want to accomplish around the world. >> in treasury the top candidate to replace timothy geithner white house chief of staff jack lew, who has also served as the budget director. the president may decide to keep lew where he is and look elsewhere, perhaps to another senator or the clinton administration veteran. at the pentagon leon panetta's departure may not occur until the spring bu
be an orderly transition to a new national security team. they have been considering senator john kerry, who has long wanted to be secretary of state, for defense secretary. the white house has also wanted u.n. ambassador susan rice to success hillary clinton, but officials say congressional leaders are now warning them that the controversy over benghazi could complicate her confirmation, and counterterrorism adviser john brennan is still a possibility, if he wants it, to take over at cia. this is getting real sticky. >> complicated is the word of the day. andrea mitchell in washington. thank you. let's turn to retired colonel jack jacobs who is an nbc military analyst. first petraeus, and now general allen involved. on the stunner scale, where do you put this? >> 11. very startling, especially for those people who worked with these officers and known them for years and years. really quite astonishing. do you know general allen? what is his reputation? >> i don't know him very well. i've met him on several occasions. he's a 1976 honors graduate of the u.s. naval academy. he's got a -- a masters
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